Can a Type 1 SCBA be used as a part of the firefighting equipment onboard of ships as per MED regulations?

According to MED directive it is necessary to have on board, as part of the firefighting equipment, a specific number of SCBAs of a minimum autonomy of 1200 l. Such equipment has to be certified and marked with the MED/SOLAS wheel mark.

In accordance to the MED directive the minimum standard requirements to be wheel marked are (see attached extract of the directive):
–    EN 136 (full face mask)
–    EN 137 (SCBA)
–    ISO 23269-3 (for SCBAs for use in accidents with cargo)

It is clear that the directive does not specify if the SCBA has to be of Type 1 or Type 2.
Therefore it is possible to use a Type 1 SCBA on board of ships as per MED regulations as such and SCBA satisfies all the directive requirements.

The ship owner can request a Type 2 SCBA for his ship, but such a request goes beyond the minimum requirements.

From a more practical point of view the difference between a Type 1 and a Type 2 SCBA lies only in the material of which the harnesses are made of. Type 2 has a better resistance to direct flames as it is made of paraaramidic materials. Type 1 is fire resistant as well although to a lower degree, it would withstand direct flames for a shorter amount of time.

It is to be considered that the Type 1 SCBAs have been used by firefighters with no issues up to 2006 when the EN 137 standard for land used SCBA was updated creating a differentiation in applications.

In fact in 2006 was introduced for SCBAs for firefighting the test “Flash Over”, where the SCBA is put in a cabin at 80 C° for 15 minutes and than burned by direct flames at 1.000 C° for 10 seconds. At the end of the test the SCBA is dropped on the ground. All through this the SCBA has to perform as usual. This is the onlytest that differentiates the 2 models, the Type 1 is tested against flames with slightly lighter tests where all its parts are exposed to direct flames produced by bunsen.

Annexure 1 – Med standards -1-